The Visual Communication Design programme at Aalto University (VCD) is an international learn- ing community committed to investigating new modes of action within visual communication. This archive was established in 2020 as a means to document and share the activity and work of the programme.

VCD Symposium 2019

Questions of Education and Research Within Graphic Design and Visual Communication Design in Nordic-Baltic Institutions


Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Espoo, Finland


Online Publication:



On 5–6 June 2019, a group of design educators and academics gathered at the Aalto University campus in Espoo, Finland, invited by the Visual Communication Design study programme at Aalto ARTS.


The symposium brought together the Visual Communication and Graphic Design programmes in Nordic and Baltic countries. This was a collegial meeting for discussion – a friendly and relaxed event, arranged however in the hope of significant academic implications. It was about study programmes coming together, learning to know each other, asking questions together—discussing localities, commonalities, differences. The symposium proposed a focus in mapping contemporary questions within graphic design and visual communication higher education and research, and the possibility of forming a network for future collaborations.


For the symposium, the participant institutions were asked to define what might be one of the most urgent questions in their study programmes right now, and to share that question with others. As anticipated, posing questions created more questions, but it was also very clear that most of the institutions were troubled by similar issues. Many fruitful, engaged discussions ensued, and friends were made. The symposium ended up as the launch of a collegial network for this field in the Nordic, Scandinavian and Baltic countries, for peer discussion and collaboration.


This informal network might create more opportunities, such as exchanging ideas and sharing good practices in teaching, discussing the emerging field of practice-based research and critical making in this field, as well as possible concrete developments such as planning courses/workshops/research projects, joint publishing or exhibitions, etc.




[Organized by]

Aalto VCD—Visual Communication Design Programme at Aalto University


[Support from]

CIRRUS, Nordic–Baltic Network of Art and Design Education


[Online publication editor]

Arja Karhumaa


[Reading list editors]

Indrek Sirkel

Ott kagovere


[Website Design]

Robynn McPherson


[Website Programming]

Viiksimaisteri / Ville Niemi